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The day he first met Lykke Jacobsen, it was as though the stars themselves had aligned to make it so. She was like captured moonlight in summer, the way she glowed in her champagne coloured dress and white gold jewelry. Freckles dotted her face like constellations; a whole universe swam in her hazel eyes.

Starstruck was the only way to describe Bendt's feelings. If he had had a heartbeat, the organ itself would have leapt from his chest.

The night he last saw Lykke Jacobsen, it was as though what remained of his soul collapsed within him. The loss left a hole as large and painful as if he had reached inside and torn out his own, still heart. The pain was more overwhelming than the loss of his family in distant years; the damnation of his being catching up with him for the last time.

This time, shattered was the only way to describe the remains of Bendt Holm.

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